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Bethel at top of new college ranking's list of Kansas schools

April 16th, 2018

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – As “college ranking season” gets into full swing, Bethel College is at the top in a new review aggregator’s list of Kansas colleges.

College Consensus combines the results of college rankings with student reviews to come up with its list of the best colleges in each state.

The organization then compiles a Top 10 list for each state, in which Bethel is No. 1 for the state of Kansas.

Four of the top institutions are regent’s universities – Pittsburg State (3), Kansas State (6), University of Kansas (7) and Emporia State (9). The rest are, like Bethel, private colleges.

Two of Bethel’s peer schools in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference made the list – Southwestern College (2) and Ottawa University (10).

College Consensus looks at rankings from, U.S. News & World Report and Washington Monthly, among several others. It uses five web-based student review sites: Cappex, My Plan, Niche, Students Review and Unigo.

“We averaged the latest results from the most respected college ranking systems with thousands of real student review scores from around the web to produce a unique ‘College Consensus’ rating for each school,” the list’s publisher wrote. “Your inclusion in our consensus ranking shows that your school has been recognized for excellence by both publishers on the outside and students and alumni on the inside.”

For more on College Consensus, see

Bethel is the only Kansas private college, and one of only four institutions of higher education in the state, to be listed in the 10th annual list of “America’s Top Colleges.”

Bethel ranks ahead of Wichita State University in that list as well as the “Top Midwest Colleges” category. Kansas State University and the University of Kansas are also ranked. considers five criteria in its ranking system, with most weight given to “Post-Graduate Success” (35 percent), followed by “Debt” and “Student Experience” (20 percent each), and “Graduation Rate” and “Academic Success” (12.5 percent each).

Explaining “Post-Graduate Success,” the editors write, “The most direct return of investment a student can earn from a college education is post-graduate success. A high-paying or high-impact career largely justifies four years of academic work and tuition bills, so we continue to make this sector our highest priority.”

“Debt” considers how effectively students avoid – or pay back – student loan debt, while “Student Experience” looks at students’ opportunities to establish lifelong relationships and to grow intellectually.

To see the entire list of 650 ranked colleges and universities, go to

Since 2005, the Washington Monthly has released an annual College Guide and rankings, with the objective of ranking schools based on what they are doing for the country.

“We rate schools based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country),” write the editors of the 2017-18 College Guide.

Bethel is #67 – out of 240 total – in the category “National Universities – Liberal Arts.” Despite the category title, it is divided between both colleges and universities across the United States. Bethel is the only Kansas private or Mennonite Education Agency institution ranked in this category.

To see the complete list, go to

For the second year in a row, Bethel appears in the U.S. News & World Report college rankings in the National Liberal Arts Colleges category – again, the only Kansas private college or MEA college on that list – in the second tier (schools listed alphabetically rather than by number).

U.S. News compared more than 1,800 accredited four-year schools nationwide using a set of up to 16 indicators, with key measures being: academic reputation, as assessed by peer institutions; graduation and retention rates; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; graduation rate performance; and alumni giving.

The complete list of National Liberal Arts Colleges for 2017-18 is at

“Bethel faculty, staff, alumni and friends are always are always pleased to be placed high in the ranking systems, especially when those rankings are based heavily on evidence of how well Bethel is serving our students in both their educational and post-graduate experience,” said Interim President John Sheriff.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

Bethel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, medical or genetic information, ethnic or national origins, citizenship status, veteran or military status or disability. E-mail questions to

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.